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A record breaking Moto2™ Q2 at the Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragon saw Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) claim his second Saturday P1 of 2020. The British rider left it late to slam in a new MotorLand Aragon lap record, his 1:51.651 enough to beat Championship rival Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) by 0.148 seconds. Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) competes the Moto2™ front row.
Round 11: Moto2™ Q2 at the Aragon Grand Prix
And it was Di Giannantonio who came out the blocks fastest in the second part of qualifying. A 1:52.364 was a decent banker lap time but it was soon beaten by Championship leader Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46), with rookie Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) then taking over at the top as he sat just behind Marini on track. Fortunes then favoured Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) as the British rider became the first-ever Moto2™ rider to set a sub-1:52 at MotorLand Aragon. A stunning lap by the long time Le Mans race leader was soon bettered by Diggia though, the Italian going back to P1 by over a tenth as the pace in Q2 was scintillating.
Out of nowhere, Bezzecchi then produced a sterling final sector to demote Diggia to P2. It was an Italian 1-2 at the summit, with Lowes currently lingering down in P10 with just three minutes to go. The number 22 was soon #OnIt though and at the third checkpoint, Lowes was a whopping four tenths quicker than Bezzecchi’s time. Surely pole position was his with just the back straight and final two corners to navigate? Lowes flew across the line to do exactly that, but he did lose three tenths in the last split. Not that it matters though, Lowes snatched P1 by 0.148 seconds – and he was chuffed.
No one else could challenge the top times in the closing seconds so Lowes will start from his first pole position since the 2016 Aragon GP – a race he went on to win. Bezzecchi and Lowes will be looking to close down the title chase leaders from P1 and P2 on the grid, with Diggia completing the front row – his first since the 2019 San Marino GP. Dixon’s 1:51.999 was a firecracker of a time and yet, he’s not on the front row. Nevertheless, it’s a Moto2™ best qualifying for the sophomore who continues to show fine form. Lining up next to Dixon in P5 is another rider who claimed a career-best Moto2™ qualifying result – Ramirez. The Spaniard has been on form all weekend and will be hoping – at least – a top 10 challenge is on the cards.
Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) was also under the former lap record, but has to settle for P6. Spearheading Row 3 is Marini who gets bumped back after Lowes’ late lap, far from a disaster for the Italian but it looks like he has plenty of work on his hands to try and stop Lowes or Bezzecchi closing his Championship gap further. Q1 graduate Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) salvages a P8 starting slot after finishing Free Practice in P19, the Spaniard sits ahead of compatriot Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) as the duo round out the top 10. Enea Bastiaini (Italtrans Racing Team) – the man second in the Championship – starts from his second-worst qualifying place of the season, P12 for the Italian, just behind 11th place Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing).
Lowes is riding the crest of a wave on a circuit he loves. Will it be a second consecutive victory of the season, or can Bezzecchi beat his title rival? Di Giannantonio will be confident of a victory challenge too and whichever way you look at it, the Moto2™ Aragon GP looks set to be a barnstormer. Tune in to watch it at 13:20 (GMT+2).
1. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) – 1:51.651
2. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.148
3. Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) + 0.219
4. Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.348
5. Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) + 0.515
6. Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) + 0.516
7. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.537
8. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.584
9. Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.697
10. Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) + 0.750